We have recently had a lot of emails from various Greeks and Cypriots wondering if finding a job in Dubai, or the Middle East in general, would be possible so that they can earn a better income or grow their career.
The answer to this is that the chances of finding a good job in the region which pays enough to cover the very high cost of living are remote. The crisis has affected Dubai worst of all, but the surrounding areas are not doing much better. Companies are closing down almost daily or reducing their workforce to the bare minimum. With huge numbers of people being left unemployed and desperate for work to pay their loans and credit cards, the competition for the few jobs available is huge.
This further escalates the usual problem for anyone seeking a role for anyone who does not have a high-level qualification for a professional or engineering role. Any technical roles or lower skilled jobs are almost never given to Europeans as workers from other countries are less expensive and therefore preferred even if less qualified.
The recovery will come but it will be slow and companies will be much more careful now in their growth strategies.
If you are a senior professional or engineer, your chances are probably better as there are a few jobs available, but be prepared to fight with a lot of competition. Also, be realistic and do your research well. What may sound like a good package may not really be so good if you take into account the real cost of living - be very careful!
If you are a technical or specialist in what is considered a lower-skilled role (eg. construction jobs which do not include architects, engineers, etc.), and already have a job in another country or who could find a job relatively easily without having to take major risks it is best to stay where you are (as traveling to the Middle East to find a job - you need to be there as companies rarely hire from abroad - would require you to spend a great deal in terms of accommodation and local transportation). Otherwise, work within Europe is probably going to be the safest option for you as at least there Greeks and Cypriots can move around and work legally without the need for work permits, etc.
I am sorry if this is not the news you wanted to hear and if it sounds rather pessimistic - we believe it is best to be realistic and give you the truth. Whatever you decide to do, we wish you every success. If you do decide to visit Dubai or the UAE in general, to see for yourself or to move there, do get in touch with us and we would be happy to support you in any way we can.
02 April 2010